Highlander Vs Deer

Shane Yodice and Madison Sondermeyer

West Milford High School is known for its mascot, Bucky, and the catchy slogan “fear the deer”, however, some students have been speaking up expressing that it might be time for a change! It is not necessarily a bad mascot and it has been around since 1962, but there are some reasons why maybe the traditional Highlander would be a better option. 

Many athletes find it frustrating to hear all the jokes made by other schools about “hunting the deer”. For example, Lakeland comes out with the camo theme every year, which, frankly, is just old at this point. This can be coupled with the fact that deer aren’t vicious and or scary, they are more cute and gentle like Bambi, so how is that a bold representation of who we are as Highlanders?  

Changing the mascot would make it easier on the student who must play the mascot as well.  Mascots struggle with their costumes being too hot and humid on the inside. Maybe we could find something lighter and easier to clean with the new mascot. And, as someone who has worn the Bucky costume before, that costume is heavy, hot, and muggy after being inside it for a while (not to mention I am not sure how often it is cleaned). 

An idea some students had was to just change our mascot to a Highlander! A man or woman in a gold and black checkered kilt like the ones that warriors in Scotland used to wear to show membership in clan aristocracy, along with a black or gold top, overall will give off a meaner and more aggressive vibe. Not to mention, it will help normalize men and women being able to wear clothing in which they can feel comfortable. It could be a theme that The Herd does as well! You could go full out with the Highlander look–grabbing a kilt or bagpipes, a huge hat, the whole thing. It could possibly also help us look more intimidating. This costume would be a lot more convenient as it would be easier to clean, easier to store and would be lighter so the person won’t sweat as much.

While we were lucky enough to acquire an elk statue recently, we could simply make the elk a commemorative to the old mascot, that way the deer will never really die. We put up a poll on our instagram @thehighlandecho_ asking the students of West Milford Highschool if we should keep our mascot as a deer or change it to a Highlander. 

 Out of the 60 people who took the poll, 79% of the voters said they would rather keep the deer as our mascot instead of changing it. While only a small fraction of the school took the poll, I have to say, I disagree with the results.  Let’s ditch the deer and bring the Highlander to life!